United Kills Flights From Cleveland To LaGuardia And Washington National

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United will cease flying from Cleveland to LaGuardia and Washington DC/DCA Airports on March 29th.

United says there won’t be a reduction of seats from Cleveland to the NYC and DC markets as they will add seats and upgauge flights to Newark and Washington/IAD, which will also result in an increase of premium cabin seats. They also say that they will be adding more seats between Cleveland and Chicago as well as additional weekend flights between Cleveland and Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers. Passengers booked to DCA or LGA will have the option to fly to IAD or EWR or to connect to those airports.

Both LaGuardia and Reagan National are preferred airports by many. The move means that Cleveland to LaGuardia/JFK will be left to American and Delta as a duopoly. And American now has a monopoly from Cleveland to Washington/DCA.

Sadly, the writing has been on the wall for Cleveland since the Continental merger with United was announced. United’s ex-CEO Jeff Smisek misled the courts when he suggested that Cleveland could maintain its size or grow. That was said to gain merger approval, but airline mergers almost always result in hubs being cut. The intention all along was to cut Cleveland as it was the smallest hub and was redundant located between Chicago, Newark, and Washington DC. These are just the latest cuts that won’t end until service from Cleveland to all United non-hub airports are cut.

We flew to Kansas City this past weekend and reminisced about the 4 daily nonstop flights that Continental offered on a flight that took just 90 minutes, compared to the 5 hours it takes now.

While nearby Pittsburgh subsidized new service and gained dozens of domestic and even Transatlantic routes that are critical to businesses since they were dehubbed, Cleveland has mostly gained service on leisure routes that hasn’t helped fill key business holes.

If Cleveland’s airport had strong leadership, they would try to find a way to negotiate with United over their monthly 7 figure rent payment for the shuttered Concourse D in exchange for gaining back key service, and not continuing to lose key routes. But considering that the city owned airport has never had strong leadership, I guess there’s no reason to expect that to change now.

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25 Comments On "United Kills Flights From Cleveland To LaGuardia And Washington National"

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EE

Ewr instead of LGA actually great for many

Shaul Yaakov Morrison

LGA is a mess these days and takes so long to get out of it that you’re not missing much.

Ed

I know you live in Cleveland but know one could care less if United pulled out all together. Was the smartest move for them to shut down Cleveland as a hub

CLE

“know one could care less”, I presume that one person you know and are referring to is yourself.
There are many people who do care.

Izz

Saw this discussed a few days ago, I think it was on airliners that the route was being dropped. Question is, what will UA do with these valuable LGA and DCA slots.

EE

Can we get Southwest back to EWR?

CLE Rocks

Only good thing about CLE airport is the bar Simon priority lounge credit and the kosher menchies (if you eat choluv Stam). It’s pretty sad that (aside for Canada) you can’t even get a direct an international flight out of CLE.

chaim

honestly i dont understand why cleveland was ever a hub its relatively small and not a major business destination

Charles

The problem was Tom Coyne, former Brook Park mayor. Se my posting above.

dave

who cares about CLE why is this a post?

iahphx

This is obviously “just business.” The Cleveland area still has almost 4 million people. The problem is that it’s a somewhat declining city, and not terribly affluent: average household income is materially below the USA average. These are not ideal business conditions for a major airline hub. Add in the fact that all the major airlines already have hubs in nearby larger cities and, well, Cleveland rightfully gets the short end of the stick. It would be nuts for UA to continue having a hub at CLE. The good news is that 4 million people can support A LOT of point-to-point flying. And since it’s nobody’s hub, it’s not going to be held hostage to fortress hub fares — there will be a lot of competition. I think this is a pretty good situation for the locals. It may not be ideal for you if you want to use UA frequent flyer benefits, but your situation is an outlier.

Charles

Cleveland’s airport is miserable….you can’t fly anywhere from Hopkins. The problem goes back to the days when Brook Park mayor Tom Coyne fought tooth and nail to prevent the expansion of Hopkins due to fears of jet noise. Coyne single-handedly kept Hopkins a third-rate airport, and prevented Cleveland from growing as a business hub. (Fortunately, he was imprisoned for other reasons.) The subsequent short-sightedness of the Cleveland political establishment to negotiate changes with United and other airlines is reprehensible. That Cleveland has no non-stop flights to Europe has resulted in outrageous airfares from Cleveland as well.

Ted

Thanks for addressing this. With the Big 3 all serving CLE-LGA, it was very easy to get a sub-$200 round trip to NYC. Not anymore. Also, I believe if I’m not mistaken AA has dropped CLE-JFK service. Only Delta left. Makes it very hard to connect to international flights.

Ready4Takeoff

Dan, thanks for the great post. Unfortunately, those of us here in Cleveland often find that it can be cheaper to fly from NYC to Eretz Yisroel for way less than CLE to NYC/PHL, which can easily hit $600-900 on a regular day. LGA flights very often the closest to reasonable (which I assume, but correct me if I’m wrong, is because AA has a monopoly to PHL since Frontier pulled out, and UA has a monopoly on EWR, UA, AA, and DL fly to LGA.) Scaling back these flights mean even less competition, so it might time to buy full body armor and take the Greyhound. Or buy a really good coat, head to BKL, and hitchhike.

SDJ

Unites CLE – LGA had the best mileage availability. AA and Delta can’t compete

JJ

Cleveland Hopkins…the only airport to be de-hubbed by the same airline TWICE, gets screwed by United and IAD once again.

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